“7th Annual Polish Hill May Day Parade 2016”: Polish Hill is a small neighborhood where an unusually large group of politically minded creative people live. Every year we have a May Day Parade to celebrate worker’s gains & spring. The day is typically preceded by a cabaret the night before. The parade goes all the way through the neighborhood & ends at a park where there’s food & alcohol available for free or donation, a maypole, & a baseball game. For the last 5 years I’ve given a speech at roughly the midway point of the parade. There’s a May Day Marching Band that plays along the way & a chorus that sings music relevant to the day at selected spots along the route in multiple languages. This year’s theme was “Many Heads, Many Hands” inspired by the image of the Many-Headed Hydra as a symbol of cooperative resistance to oppression, of mutual aid, especially as articulated in Marcus Rediker & Peter Linebaugh’s book entitled “The Many-Headed Hydra - Sailors, Slaves, Commoners, and the Hidden History of the Revolutionary Atlantic”.
In an effort to reach out to everyone in the neighborhood a flier was made with an image of the Hydra (as realized in Chinese dragon form by a group of volunteers) on the front & a political statement about May Day on the back. This flier was given to every home. Participation is welcome but hatefulness is discouraged in favor of a festive & welcoming attitude. Three different silkscreen prints on fabric were made relevant to the event by 3 different artists & given away during the parade - mostly to be used as adornment. A good time is usually had by all & I, personally, very much look forward to this day every year - as I know many other people do too.
This description is mine alone. I’ve tried to be fair & accurate but other people may object to a detail here, a detail there, to omissions, even to the overall implied politics. I’m just one person & not a representative of all who participate. I love this parade & admire & am grateful to all the hard-working people who contribute so enthusiastically to its yearly manifestation.
- May 12, 2016EV notes from tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE